Updated Oct. 6, 2018:
We have taken down our article about Raiger and Ave Maria for now. We do not think the threat, below, has legal merit, but because it is a Saturday afternoon and we are currently at the beach celebrating our 21st anniversary and do not need this horseshit, we will return to this issue after we have had time to consider our legal options.
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Here’s the letter we received today from Ricardo Reyes on behalf of Ave Maria University:
Simcha Fisher and Damien Fisher:
Please be advised that that our law firm represent Ave Maria University, Inc. (“University”). This correspondence is addressed to you as operators of the blog located at www.simchafisher.com and as the authors of the libelous article published on the blog entitled “Ave Maria prof’s pattern of sexual slander exposed”. Demand is hereby made that the entire article be retracted and removed from the internet, and that you cease and desist from publishing any further libelous remarks.
While the article contains the self-serving claim that Michael Raiger did not “cooperate with the story”, it is obvious someone acting on Raiger’s behalf provided his prior statements to you, and the article is intended to disparage the University during the pending litigation. Also, the reference to “sexual slander” is an irresponsible and outrageous attempt to sensationalize Raiger’s false claims. We understand that Mrs. Raiger’s have been in communication with defrocked former priest Mark Gruber (a person known to have made similar assertions when accused of possessing child pornography) as part of their continued confrontation against the University. We intend to investigate Gruber’s involvement in the publication of this libelous article.
In the article, you have republished several defamatory remarks made by Raiger against the University and professor Travis Curtright. Even more troubling is that you have published a number of false claims as fact, beyond the quotes attributed to Raiger. For example, your assertion that the University’s counsel acknowledged the claims against Curtright is false and a complete fabrication on your part. As you are aware, Raiger’s allegations against professor Curtwright were never proven or corroborated (even though, under Florida law, to suggest someone may or may not be homosexual does not constitute slander). By publishing Raiger’s false claims as your own factual statements, you are liable for defamation per se.
It is evident that you seek to assist Raiger in tortuously interfering with the University’s affairs. Raiger’s false claims against Curtwright are part of a continuing effort to injure the University’s reputation because of Raiger’s long standing opposition to the University’s administration, in particular, President Jim Towey. If you had actually undertaken any investigation, you would have discovered not only that Raiger’s self-serving claims against Curtright were never substantiated, but also that the professor who Raiger was supposedly protecting admitted to having inaccurate information on his CV, and had allowed a male student who stayed at his home to grade his exams. Also, you would have learned that Raiger engaged in a series of overt acts of insubordination designed to undermine the administration before his employment ended with the University. Moreover, the debt secured by the mortgage on Raiger’s home matured upon the termination of his employment and is properly due to the University. There was no retaliation against him. By omitting these facts from the article, and juxtaposing facts to create false impressions, you are also liable for defamation by implication.
Accordingly, if you fail to retract the libelous article or refuse to cease and desist from further conduct, will proceed to bring legal action against you for libel and tortious interference. If such an action is brought, you may be liable for compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief.
GOVERN YOURSELVES ACCORDINGLY.
Ricardo A. Reyes
225 N.E. Mizner Boulevard
Mizner Park Office Tower, Suite 510
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
561 620 0656 office
561 620 0657 fax